Restrictions hamper DNC fundraising

Aug. 3, 2012 at 10:24 AM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Fundraising efforts for the Democratic National Convention are hampered in part by President Obama's decision to limit direct corporate donations, leaders say.

In a departure from previous conventions, checks from corporations or political action committees for the DNC are banned and a $100,000 cap on donations from individuals was imposed.

Ken Eudy, who runs a Raleigh marketing company and serves on Charlotte's host committee, says those restrictions make it harder to collect contributions for the fete aimed at boosting Obama's re-election bid, USA Today reported Thursday.

Democrats set a $36.6 million fundraising goal for the Sept. 3-6 convention in Charlotte, N.C.

There's another fly in the Democrats' fundraising ointment: Some labor unions, upset that the convention is being held in a right-to-work state, have announced they won't help underwrite the event, opting to channel their money to get-out-the-vote efforts.

"We feel that a better use of our members' money would be spent on grassroots mobilization efforts this election cycle," Jim Spellane, a spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said in an e-mail to USA Today.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka last month said the group will rally in Philadelphia Aug. 11 to promote labor issues and not make a "major monetary" contributions to the convention.

Organizers of the Republican National Convention -- in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27-30 -- said they're still fundraising, but are well on their way toward their goal of raising about $55 million, USA Today said.

Officials with both Tampa and Charlotte host committees won't say how much they've collected and won't disclose their list of donors until they're required to by federal law.

"We've achieved every milestone we have set," Kenneth Jones, a Tampa private equities firm executive who runs the host committee, told USA Today.

"We're on track," said Tom Williams, a spokesman for Duke Energy, whose Chief Executive Officer Jim Rogers is a co-chairman of the Charlotte host committee.

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